Storybook ending: Tae Young overcomes injury, helps Storm win IFL championship gamePublished 10:14am Tuesday, July 9, 2013
For Tae Young, it looks like the third time was the charm.
Young and the Sioux Falls Storm won the Indoor Football League championship June 29. It’s the third straight title for the Storm, and Sioux Falls is the third indoor team Young has played for in his career.
For Young, it’s a fitting end to a season that started with him exploding onto the indoor scene on his way to an IFL Offensive Player of the Week honor.
The journey from overnight sensation to IFL champion wasn’t easy, as Young was felled by injury in the Storm’s second game against the Nebraska Danger.
Despite the physical setback, Young refused to let the season fall by the wayside.
“I knew I had to be even stronger and faster,” Young said. “I did my rehab and treatment twice a day for several weeks and continued to improve on mastering the mental part of the game.”
With Young sidelined, The Storm had to turn to famed IFL signal-caller Terrence Bryant, who Young called one of the best to play indoor football.
While Bryant came out of retirement to lead the Storm on the field, he served as a coach of sorts for Young, an experience Young said he considers invaluable. When Young was cleared to play, the Storm offense was virtually unstoppable.
“He was a huge mentor for me since the day I came to Sioux Falls,” Young said. “With his veteran leadership and my young talents we took the driver’s seat behind the offense, and we took off.”
The Storm entered the postseason on an eight-game winning streak, and the winning ways continued.
Everything culminated for the team when it defeated the Nebraska Danger for the United Bowl Championship, 43-40.
Young only threw one pass in the game. It went for four yards and resulted in a touchdown for the Storm.
For him, what meant most was being a part of a team that finally grabbed the brass ring.
“It was a storytelling season for us, but we overcame the adversity week in and week out,” Young said. “It was a surreal moment for me because all I could think about was the times I’ve gotten so close throughout my career, like the time we lost to Homewood in the semi-finals my senior year at Benjamin Russell or losing to Houston in the Conference USA conference championship my freshman year at Southern Mississippi. It was such a big sigh of relief for me, but at the same time I felt like it was only the beginning and that there’s much more to be done.”
For now, Young is taking the time to reflect on a championship-winning season.
“The entire experience for me was great,” Young said. “This is the third professional indoor team that I’ve played for, and it was by far the best all around organization.”
Young also hasn’t forgotten the starting point of his journey: assisting the Alexander City youth through working with Alexander City Parks and Recreation Department and Cooper Community Center.
“I would also give a lot of thanks to Sonny Wilson and the Alexander City Parks and Rec for giving me the opportunity to stay involved with the youth and share my sports knowledge and skill-building with them. The experiences that I’ve had here made me appreciate not only the game more but just the little things that we take for granted.”
In addition, Young credited the support of Alexander City for its part in helping him get to where he is.
“I’m thankful for having such loyal and supportive people behind me every step of the way,” Young said. “I will always give back to the City of Alexander City any way possible for that.”